PA03: Asked to Name ‘Specific’ Budget Cuts He Would Make GOP Candidate Mike Kelly Talks for Two Minutes, Can’t Name a Single Cut

Sure, I’ll address that, and I’ll address it very specifically. The specifics — the specificity — is in the process. When Gov. Christie got elected in New Jersey, they asked him the same question; he says “let me get there and I’ll figure it out. Let me just do this.” [GROANS from audience.] Because as a businessperson, you have to look every month at what you do. You have to look at the things that work and the things that didn’t work. You have to determine whether that’s the right course to be on or not be on.

And I’m always intrigued when people say, “specifically, what would you do?” Here, specifically, what would I do? I’d tear it apart. I’d tear it apart. I would want to look at every bit of our spending budget. Does it work or does it not work? Is it something we can improve on? Is it something we should redeploy those funds? Absolutely, there’s stuff to be cut. What is it right now? I can’t tell you.

But I can tell you this. I’m always amazed that people take this attitude that you can’t expect the government to work the way a business does. And I would put this just the other way. You could never expect a business to work the way the government does. [LAUGHTER.] And when we talk about all these savings and all these costs. [Unintelligible.] … the backs of the taxpayers. The government acts like somehow we’re taking money from them. The truth of the matter is they are taking money from us. Much as golfers [unintelligible] pennies, every single penny that goes into government coffers comes off the backs of taxpaying citizens.

So I think we have the wrong point of view here. Specifically what would you do? Specifically, what I would do? I would be the most responsible legislator who’s out there. I would measure twice and cut once. I would look at every expense and is it performing the way it’s supposed to perform, or this just another one of those government programs that has an endless life that we just keep adding and adding and adding. So the specificness of it is getting people there that are responsible, that have skin in the game and that have sweat [inaudible], that understand what it means to make payments out of your own pocket, not the taxpayer’s. That’s a very sacred duty, that’s the way we would approach this.

Republican Mike Kelly, candidate in Pennsylvania’s 3rd District, responding to a debate moderator’s question asking him to name “specific” cuts he’d make in the government. Kelly used some form of the word “specific” eight times but never named a single thing he would cut. Nonetheless, Kelly leads his Democratic opponent, Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, in most polls, and Real Clear Politics has listed the race as “leans Republican.”